Your porch furniture ideas determine how this prime outdoor space is used, so it’s important to choose a setup that suits your lifestyle. and your personal style.
While rocking chairs and porch swings are the go-to furniture choices for a large covered porch, they’re not the only options. Outdoor conversation sets are perfect for entertaining the neighbors on a summer evening, while a bistro set can have dinner for two outdoors.
However you plan to use your space, there is a porch idea to suit it, provided you have the right furniture setup.
porch furniture ideas that combine style and function
Why don’t you sit down and stay a while? These porch furniture ideas will encourage you to do just that. Perfect as outdoor living room ideas, they will make your space useful and beautiful.
1. Create a conversation
A ring of outdoor seating encourages conversation, turning the porch into a go-to gathering spot for summer get-togethers with friends and neighbors.
“In the South, front porches are more than a place to drop off a package or shelter from the rain that streaks past the front door,” says Atlanta-based interior designer Tish Mills. “The porch is a gathering place to watch the neighbors walk by or watch the kids play in the front yard. I usually include some sort of seating, whether it’s a full seating arrangement or a bench. It not only welcomes a visitor and sets the tone for the home, but also serves as a place to sit down for a while.
2. Create symmetry
In a traditional home, create symmetry by choosing the same furniture configuration for each side of your front door, reflecting the refined nature of classical architecture.
In the old house of Smart Gray (opens in a new tab)the artist chose a Serena & Lily rattan bench for each side of her porch, adding a touch of variability with mismatched sets of pillows.
3. Choose rocking chairs
There’s a reason for the term “rocking porch.” A great porch just needs a row of rockers (for a small porch idea, a chair or two work just as well) that can be used to look out over the neighborhood or admire the gardens on a summer evening. For added comfort and style, complete the look with throw pillows and lumbar pillows that complement the colors of your home.
4. Incorporate wicker
Wicker is the classic choice for outdoor furniture and has been a porch staple for decades. It is beautiful and durable and suits a variety of porch styles.
For a more modern look that isn’t like something passed down from your great aunt, choose wicker pieces with clean lines and clean silhouettes, and pair them with contemporary accent pieces.
5. Hang a porch swing
Besides rocking chairs, a porch swing is the go-to choice for porch furniture. For a uniform look, choose a swing style that suits the architecture of your home.
‘My favorite layouts [for front porch furniture] would be a simple sitting area with one of the following pieces, Adirondack chairs, swing chairs that hang from the house, or two chairs and a couch with cushions,” says Kate Anne Gross, of Kate Anne Designs (opens in a new tab)who used this rope-style swing for a client’s California porch.
6. Try bamboo furniture
Bamboo furniture is another outdoor classic, with a decidedly vintage vibe. It adds character and contrast to a new build home, like the one from Evans Architects, above. At the same time, the look can easily complement a boho craftsman’s cottage, a classic Georgian house, and various porch paint ideas and colors by choosing cushion fabric or throw pillows that suit the style of your home.
7. Hang a Daybed
Give the classic porch swing an upgrade with a hanging daybed instead. The larger space invites lounging (perfect for summer afternoon naps) and creates more room for accent pillows and throw pillows, which also helps turn the swing into a statement piece.
For a nautical look, skip the chains and run the swing through a sturdy rope instead.
8. Use Adirondack chairs
Want to upgrade your beach house decor, cabin decorating ideas, or a rustic craftsman home? Then you can’t go wrong with Adirondack chairs. Adirondack chairs are comfortable, durable and low maintenance on a porch. Plus, you can adapt the look to the exterior of your home depending on the color of the chair you choose.
Unfished wood options work well for cottages and craftsmen, while white or blue suits coastal homes.
9. Create a dining room
Traditionally, front porches are used for small conversation areas or rows of rocking chairs, but if your porch is your best outdoor living space, there’s no rule that says you can’t use it as a dining area.
Looking for tips for outdoor dining ideas? For more surface area, opt for a full-size weatherproof dining table, and for smaller spaces, try a bistro table and a pair of matching chairs.
10. Swing in style
A bench-style porch swing might be the classic choice, but a bamboo hanging chair offers just as much fun with an updated look. Popular porch chairs are guaranteed to have the coveted seat when guests come over, so hang a few in a row to accommodate your crew and create greater visual impact.
What furniture looks great on a porch?
There are a few key considerations that will help you choose the best furniture for your porch.
For one thing, your porch furniture should be proportionate to the scale of your porch. So if you’re looking for small porch ideas, you’ll want more compact pieces of furniture, like a bistro set or a rocking chair with a small side table.
If your porch is larger, you’ll want to opt for pieces that fill the space. A single bistro set would seem insignificant in this case, but a row of three or four rocking chairs, a dining set, or a set of upholstered armchairs placed in a ring will match the scale of your space.
Additionally, you will want your porch furniture to match the architecture of your home, as well as your porch lighting ideas and porch railing ideas. If you live on a mid-century ranch, traditional Adirondack chairs will feel clunky, for example. Instead, you’ll opt for an Acapulco-style chair or an outdoor bench with tapered legs.
For a traditional home, classic wooden rocking chairs or a shaker-style porch swing would naturally fit.
What Porch Furniture Color Should I Choose?
Besides the size and style of your porch furniture, you’ll also want to consider color. The color of your porch furniture should complement the colors found on your home and in your yard. If you have a black front door and a white porch, you can choose black rocking chairs to give contrast to the porch while playing up the color of the door.
On the other hand, if you know your porch flower beds bloom in shades of purple and red, choose furniture and accent pieces that tie in with those hues.
Another option? Choose colors from inside your home to make them stand out on the porch. “I tend to accent the porch with a main house color to give a hint of what’s to come,” says Mills.